WASHINGTON--Democrats in the Senate are expected on Tuesday to revive the stalled nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be Defense Secretary, setting the stage for his confirmation.
Hagel's confirmation stalled on Feb. 14 falling short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster. Senate rules allow for a second chance.
What happens next: Two votes, first to get rid of a filibuster threat and the second on Hagel's confirmation, where a simple majority is all that is needed.
There are 55 Democrats in the Senate and they are confident they have at least five Republicans who will vote to bury the possibility of a filibuster--even if those Republicans go on to vote against confirmation.
The Feb. 14 roll call was 58-40, with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) voting to end a GOP filibuster threat and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voting to let it continue. Right before the Feb. 14 Durbin made an impassioned plea from the Senate floor to support President Barack Obama's nomination of Hagel. Kirk has come out strongly against Hagel.